The Chinese Government arrested Li Heping, attorney for Chen Guangcheng, and Wang Yu, attorney for Ilham Tohti, for, as yet, unspecified charges. A general arrest of more than 225 Human Rights attorneys took place in China in mid-Spring this year. Many were detained, questioned, and some released. Li Heping and Wang Yu have not been released and their whereabouts are undisclosed. It is reported that they do not have access to legal counsel, outside access or their families.
September 8, 2015
President Xi Jinping
The State Council General’s Office
People’s Republic of China
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We are writing at this time in concern for two attorneys who have recently been detained, Wang Yu and Li Heping. Both of these attorneys were arrested on separate occasions, one on July 9 and the other on July 10 for unspecified reasons and neither has been seen or heard from since.
Both of these lawyers are involved in human rights work and have defended other individuals whom our organization has advocated for in the past. We have been informed that Ms. Yu’s home was raided on July 9 and she was arrested. Mr. Heping was arrested at his office and computers and other materials were also removed at that time. Both are being held incommunicado on unspecified charges. It is unclear if either has access to legal counsel.
Their professional activities are protected under international human rights instruments including the Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.
We are respectfully urging you to investigate their situations, to explain publicly the circumstances of their arrests and, pending their immediate release, ensure that their cases proceed in a manner consistent with China’s obligations under international law, in particular, internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial, and free expression. We are asking you to ensure their well being while in custody, including disclosure of their current location, legal status and access to counsel and family. Assuming that there are no charges filed we request an immediate release of both of these individuals.
Thank you for your assistance in regard to these cases. We look forward to a quick and informative response.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
The Honorable Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Honorable Max Baucus, Ambassador to China
Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, US Department of State
The Honorable Cui Tiankai, The People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador to the US
The Honorable Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the United Nations
The Honorable Liu Jieyi, the People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador to the United Nations
- The desperate hunt for Li Heping, China’s missing human rights warrior (the guardian.com)
- The case of Wang Yu, emblem of China’s human rights … (theguardian.com)
- Chinese efforts to quash human rights campaigns rippling out of control (theoslotimes.com)
- Nearly Two-Dozen Activists, Lawyers Still Held By Chinese Authorities (freebeacon.com)
- Families of China’s ‘disappeared’ say country is a place of ‘fear and panic’ (theguardian.com)